Elk Lake Campground
Gayle B.
Reviewed Sep. 6, 2020

Good lake access...

Our first time at Elk Lake Campground.  Firstly, until The Dyrt updates the listing, the description and the reviews here are for the Elk Lake Campground by Detroit, OR in the Willamette Nat'l Forest - NOT Elk Lake Campground in the Deschutes Nat'l Forest up past Mt. Bachelor.  So my review and photos reflect the Deschutes campground :)

Nice views of the lake, but none are lakeside.  There are a few closer to the lake, but most of the sites are on a hillside above the lake.  Tough parking if you have anything bigger than a small RV or towable.  Traffic direction and site parking angles are such that you have to back in, which means your door will face the road in most cases lakeside.  Sites are a little close, and the resort with kayak rentals, store, and rental cabins are right next door, so this is a busy and crowded campground.

If you are hauling kayaks or paddle boards, most sites are a hike to the water entry.  The sites up the hill but with lake views are mostly not tent-friendly, as there were not large clear flat areas.  Doable, however.  There are cabins all along the west side of the lake, and the east side is all day use...it's VERY busy in the summer.  There is a marina at the resort, so lots of sailboats, a few pontoon boats, and a few small fishing boats.  Lots of water traffic.

It's a good campground, but definitely not at the top of our list.  Probably great if you have kids, as there is more "beach" area here than almost any other lake campground we've been to.

Cell service - whether that's a plus or minus, who knows.  We went midweek, so were happy we could keep an eye on business emails periodically.

IMO, site 17 is the best for a small RV or trailer, with good views of the lake.  18/19 are close together and smaller, with more trees obstructing the views.  8/9/10/11 are closer to the water, but also close together...better for a group and if you have backing in skills, as there is no turnaround down that row.

  • Site 18
  • Site 18 view
  • Day Use area #1
Month of VisitOctober